A New York-based rights group has condemned a Chinese security agency for widespread brutality, saying it flaunts the nation's laws by detaining people for minor offences.
In a 76-page report called Beat Him, Take Everything Away, Human Rights Watch documented abuses by the Urban Management Law Enforcement agency, known as the "Chengguan", AFP reports.
The principal role of the agency, founded in 1997, is to enforce rules in civil areas including the environment, sanitation, traffic, and urban beautification.
It has the power to impose fines on violators.
But according to Human Rights Watch, the Chengguan officers routinely detain or use excessive force against those suspected of violating administrative rules.